6 Tips For Cutting Your Grass With a Lawn Mower

As any keen gardener will tell you, as soon as the nights get a little lighter and the cold chill begins to fade, it's the perfect opportunity to get back in the garden and take care of the lawn.

Mowing the garden is one of the household chores that everyone is familiar with, but it's not uncommon for us to speak to people who have never done it before, or who aren't confident they're doing it correctly. 

With that in mind, we've put together our top 6 tips for cutting your grass with a lawn mower. 

Tip #1- Safety First! 

In the grand scheme of things, lawn mowers are one of the safer items of garden machinery you can own. 

Even still, when there’s petrol and moving blades involved, accidents can happen and for that reason you should always take the necessary precautions when mowing your lawn. 

These precautions include: 

  • Understand your lawn mower. Always make sure to read your user manual before operating your mower and make sure that it is assembled correctly. 
  • Wear ear defenders. Modern petrol lawn mowers are quieter than ever, but you should still wear ear defenders to protect your hearing. 
  • Handle petrol with care. Store your petrol in an appropriate container and in a safe location. When filling your lawn mower, take care to not spill any petrol and if you do, clean it up immediately. If you’re re-fuelling your lawn mower halfway through a cut, let your mower cool down for several minutes first. 
  • Check the lawn before you start mowing. Rocks, rubbish and other types of debris can both ruin your lawn mower and potentially be very dangerous if they’re propelled across your garden. If you have any pets, make sure they haven’t made a mess on your lawn as that could lead to a very unpleasant experience if it gets caught up in your blades.
  • Never leave your lawn mower running when unattended. If you need to leave the lawn mower for a period of time, or take it across a surface which isn’t grass, always turn it off first. 
  • Keep children and pets away. Small children and animals who are not capable of understanding the dangers of lawn mowers should be kept away at all times to avoid any accidents. 

Tip #2 - Regularly Mow Your Lawn

How often should you mow your grass? This will partially depend on the time of the year, as well as your preference for how your lawn looks. 

In general, the aim of mowing your lawn should be to keep the grass thick, tidy and with as few weeds as possible. 

At the start of the year, from January to April, your lawn won’t be growing at its peak and can be cut every 2-3 weeks. 

During the hotter months, from May to October, your grass will be growing quicker and you will need to lower the cutting height of your lawn mower to account for this.

You may need to cut your lawn as much as twice a week, depending on the type of grass your lawn consists of. 

Tip #3 - Wait Until The Weather Is Right 

As tempting as it may be to throw on a raincoat and give your lawn a once over during the best of the British rain, doing so would do more harm than good to your lawn. 

Cutting grass which is wet will not only result in an uneven cut, but also clog up your lawn mower.

Furthermore, the health of your lawn could suffer as large clumps of wet grass can smother the lawn which will result in unattractive brown patches. 

Tip #4 - Pick A Route And Then Stick With It! 

Before you begin to cut your lawn, plan your route. 

For most lawns this is an easy task, as they tend to be square, rectangular or symmetrical. In these cases, it’s easiest to simply go back and forth in a straight line, creating imaginary stripes or lanes across your garden.

If your garden lawn is a more complex shape, plan a route that ensures you won’t be going back over grass you’ve already cut. 

One useful technique for unorthodox lawns is to do a lap around the outside, then move further in with each subsequent lap.

By picking a logical and efficient path around your lawn, you will not only cut down on the time you spend cutting the grass, but also reduce the amount of petrol your lawn mower consumers, which is better for your wallet. 

Tip #5 - Plan What To Do With The Cuttings 

Depending on your lawn mower, you may have several options for disposing of the grass cuttings. 

Most high end lawn mowers have the following features available: 

Cut and collect is the most popular option, which sends the cuttings directly into the grass catcher on the lawn mower. 

Cut and drop spreads the cuttings across the entire cutting width, leaving them on your lawn. 

Cut and mulch reduces the cuttings to fine particles, which in turn increases the speed in which they decompose. 

Cut and side-discharge disperses the cuttings out of the side of the lawn mower, away from any areas you wish to keep clean. 

Many people opt to remove the cuttings from their lawns altogether for aesthetic purposes; however, this isn’t always the best option. 

Not only do grass cuttings decompose quickly due to the fact they’re so finely cut, they also provide much needed nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. This, in the long term, will result in a healthier lawn.

If you do want to get rid of the cuttings, we suggest investing in a high quality compost bin, or dedicating a corner of your garden to a compost pile. 

Both of these also have their advantages, such as providing you with fertiliser for your garden plants. 

Tip #6 - Make Sure Your Lawn Mower Is Still Up To The Task 

Lawn mowers can provide years of reliable performance with regular and thorough servicing and care. However, neglected or poorly made lawn mowers can quickly make a simple gardening task a strenuous and frustrating experience. 

If your lawn mower has seen its best days, it might be time to take it for a trip to the tip and invest in a new one. 

We stock the very best lawn mowers from Hyundai Power Equipment, including a brand new 36v lithium-ion battery powered model. 

If it's time for a new lawn mower, you'll find the right one for you at The PowerSite.